Video playback on Google Android: Is that all?

We're not sure why Google made video playback on the T-Mobile G1 scarce at the outset, but here's one way to fix it.

G1 phones (Credit: CNET)

Does it strike anyone else as odd that Google has left some basic capabilities to third-party Android developers? Video playback in the day where multimedia is king seems like such an obvious application to perfect and include on a platform with a lot to prove, yet the only video-related application the T-Mobile G1 sports is a YouTube application.

That makes perfect sense, YouTube having been bought by Google and all, but what if the videos you want to see plain haven't been uploaded yet?

Thankfully, the Android add-on Video Player reliably fills a basic role by playing MPEG4 or 3GPP videos (H.264 and H.263 standards) from the SD card. It is, however, very light on the controls, with just a pause button and forward and backward advance and no extras on the Menu button. Android Market developer Jeff Hamilton also states in his specifications that videos need to be 480 by 352 for proper playback. We were able to convert, load, and play back 5-minute and 45-minute videos without a hitch.

TuneWiki, which I wrote about yesterday, is more of a replacement for the music player, though it also enhances basic YouTube functions when music videos are the focus. TuneWiki will attempt to sync lyrics to the music video and will save videos for repeat playback and karaoke practice.

So far, these options are slim when compared with other mobile platforms that offer fuller management features out of the box.

Read more CNET reviews and news on Google Android, Android apps, and the T-Mobile G1.

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